Your chance to add questions for the first of the Webinar Series on April 6th 

Here are some I’ve been sent already. The topics are advocacy and assessment and eligibility for service users. Please add yours in the comments box below and tweet it around if you’re intending to join in or access the recordings. Go to the Webinars link above right, if you want to sign up – it’s cheaper to buy the series than access past webinars on a one-off Pay to View basis.


  1. Can a local authority say (whether or not in the name of person centred-ness) “Yes, you should have an advocate – and we will give you one, but they’ve got a waiting list. So it will hold up your assessment if you don’t mind waiting – or we could go ahead without, and get your assessment done now – which would you prefer?”


  1. You’ve said in your Community Care webinar that a person has no choice in whether or not they get an advocate. Could you say more about that please because it sounds like the opposite of what the Care Act was supposed to do for social care.


  1. The friend who is being paid by an adult, through the adult’s direct payments, to help and support them in the community, could be a legitimate source of support during an assessment, so as to avoid the need for an independent advocate, yes? What about volunteers who don’t know the person, but to whom the person makes no objection?



Assessment and Eligibility


  1. If an adult with needs for care and support just fills out the supported self-assessment form they’ve been given, and doesn’t really understand how it works and struggles with getting the form done at all because of the effects of their disability, can the local authority just consider their eligibility on the basis of the contents of that form alone, and decide they aren’t eligible?


  1. I’ve heard that an authority can say: “Yes you have got needs on several Outcomes and they are having an impact on your wellbeing but the impact isn’t significant as far as we are concerned, so you aren’t eligible.” If the prospective client thinks the impact on their wellbeing is very significant, who gets to judge and how do we know where this threshold is, and what can they do about it, if the disagreement continues?



Belinda Schwehr

About Belinda Schwehr

Belinda has been a lawyer (both a barrister and then a solicitor advocate), a law lecturer at a university, and a trainer and consultant specialising in Adults' Social Care legal framework issues. She first became interested in social care law when the Gloucestershire case was running between 1995 and 1997, never having met a real live social worker, before that point! She regards social care as the most interesting field of law she has ever been associated with, combining aspects of public law, the regulation of power, economics, management skills, EU law, procurement, criminal law, incapacity law, land law and contract, and doesn't expect ever to tire of the stuff. If the Care Act is going to be the last word on it, however, she would like to think it was worth all that sitting there and getting fatter whilst thinking about how it should all hang together! She does glass craftwork and house renovations for a hobby, has one son in his twenties, and about 5000 online friends... soon to be 50,000, with any luck!

2 thoughts on “Your chance to add questions for the first of the Webinar Series on April 6th 

  1. Sarah orton

    Do LA’s have a duty to reassess all existing service users under the care act even if the person’s needs have not changed?

    1. Belinda SchwehrBelinda Schwehr Post Author

      I think that one has to be really careful with language here Sarah – a person can ask for a review – not a re-assessment, if they think that their needs have changed, or for any other reasonable reason. The Transitional Order from government issued last year said that everyone should be reviewed by now, and that ‘a review’ meant an eligibility decision, so that would have involved a Care Act assessment. All such people should now have a Care Act care plan, complying with s25 of the Act.

      But if that exhortation was not followed by councils, and hasn’t been done by now, the Order ensured that everyone not yet assessed would be deemed to be getting their services under the Care Act.

      So, there are plenty of people sliding over to a Care Act footing whose needs WON’T have changed, and they won’t have asked for a review.

      They should now ask for one, not because their needs have changed, but because it is their right to be assessed under CARE ACT criteria, which may be more beneficial for them, than was the FACS framework. If they don’t ask, a council has a duty generally to keep people under review, but my concern is that people could be treated as if still eligible, but without a proper chance to expand their eligibility across the 10 domains. The general position under the Care Act going forwards, is that there is no duty to re-assess, if nothing has happened which the council regards as “circumstances affecting the plan”.

      I hope you can see why I can’t give you a straight yes or no on the question as asked!!

You can make a comment below. The name you put here will show. So make one up if you want anonymity. Your e-mail address will not be public.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>